The disaster is believed to have resulted from Pyongyang’s hydrogen bomb test, which sparked earthquakes and landslides
By Jake Johnson, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 10-31-2017
Experts are issuing urgent warnings of a possible radiation leak following the collapse of a tunnel at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, an accident that reportedly killed at least 200 people.
“Should [the Punggye-ri site] sink, there is a possibility” that hazardous radioactive gas could be released into the atmosphere, warned South Korea weather agency chief Nam Jae-cheol during a parliamentary meeting on Monday, ahead of reports of the incident.
The tunnel’s collapse, first reported by the Japanese outlet TV Asahi on Tuesday, is presumed to have occurred as a result of the destabilization caused by Pyongyang’s powerful hydrogen bomb test last month.
The Telegraph, citing South Korean news agency Yonhap, reported that the original incident took place on Oct. 10 though it remains unclear exactly when the secondary collapse may have occurred.
Business Insider‘s Alex Lockie reports that according to North Korean sources, the tunnel initially “collapsed on 100 workers, and an additional 100 went in to rescue them, only to die themselves under the unstable mountain.”